Date of this Version
Journal of Animal Science 93 (2015), pp.5801–5811; doi:10.2527/jas2015-9613
Steers (n = 480; 22% with black hides and 78% with red hides) were used to study the effects of shade and feeding zilpaterol hydrochloride (ZH) on performance, carcass quality, heat stress, mobility, and body temperature (BT). A randomized block design with a 2 × 2 factorial treatment arrangement was used with 4 replicates per treatment. Factors included housing type (open or shaded pens) and the feeding of ZH (0 or 8.33 mg/kg DM) the last 21 d on feed with a 3-d withdrawal. Cattle were blocked by BW into a heavy or light block and randomly assigned to pen within each block. Rumen boluses to record BT were inserted before ZH feeding. Respiration rate and panting scores were recorded daily during the ZH feeding period. Mobility scores were collected at various time points from before ZH feeding through harvest. Interactions between ZH and housing type were not significant (P > 0.26) for animal performance, carcass characteristics, and respiration or panting score. No differences (P > 0.44) were observed for DMI, ADG, or G:F on a live basis due to ZH; however, cattle fed in open pens tended (P = 0.08) to have a greater ADG than cattle in shaded pens. Cattle fed ZH had 14 kg heavier carcasses with larger LM area (P < 0.01) than control cattle. Respiration rates for cattle fed ZH were greater (P = 0.05) with no differences (P = 0.88) due to housing. Time affected (P < 0.01) mobility scores, with observations on the morning of harvest at the abattoir being the worst for all groups of cattle. An interaction (P < 0.01) was observed between ZH and housing type for BT. Cattle fed ZH, in both shaded and open pens, had lower (P < 0.05) average, maximum, and area under the curve BT than control cattle fed in the same housing type. However, the observed reduction in BT due to ZH was greater for cattle fed ZH in open pens than for cattle fed ZH in shaded pens. From these results, we conclude that ZH improved HCW with little impact on heat stress or mobility, suggesting that animal welfare was not affected by feeding ZH for 21 d at the end of the feeding period.